Ever since regaining independence and starting EU accession process, Latvia has struggled to implement European standards in many fields of protection of human rights. That was the case especially regarding religious freedom (in a post-atheist while multi-confessional environment) and academic freedom. Similarly, NGOs and trade unions are enjoying a favourable treatment. The LGBTs` Pride march was peacefully held in the capital city Riga in July 2012, even though legislation protecting them is scarce. But, even worse than in neighbouring Estonia, “identity politics” is the main source of various aberrations from the mainstream-EU human-rights practices. Non-citizens (mainly ethnic Russians originating from other parts of the former USSR) constitute 15% of all residents. Naturalization
procedure has not been automatic – passing serious language tests or satisfying other formalities have been demanded. Non-citizens cannot vote, assume public office or even work in government offices. Broadcasting in non-Latvian languages is limited. Worse to it, Holocaust denial (or even anti-Semitism in its own right) is often smuggled as anti-communism or anti-Sovietism. Neither Latvian nor pro-Russia nationalists accept a non-bias approach to 20th century history. In the view of the former, many Nazi collaborators were “national liberation heroes”, while in the eyes of the latter nearly all Latvian dissidents were “fascists”. On the top of it, in the climate where WW2 revisionism is not delegitimized, the anyway present Romophobia or other bigotry is practiced more easily.